More cuts for Derbyshire bus services announced in council's 2020 budget

Support for bus services is one area to be cut as Derbyshire County Council makes millions of pounds in savings.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 12:29 pm
Updated Friday, 24th January 2020, 9:59 am
Derbyshire County Council headquarters at County Hall.

The county council is set to make nearly £19 million in cuts this year due to “immense pressure” to support a rapidly growing number of vulnerable children and adults. But the Conservatives, who control the authority, are now set to agree to postpone millions more pounds in cuts until after the next county election. The budget for 2020 into 2021 will total £560.2 million. The council had forecast all year to make cuts of £33.4 million during the 2020 to 2021 financial year, beginning in April – the final complete financial year before the county election – but this has now been stripped back to £19 million.

Any further cuts have been pushed back to the financial years 2022 to 2023 and 2023 to 2024. During those financial years, the council had been aiming to make cutbacks totalling nearly a million pounds, but that has increased to more than £17 million. Here are some of the key budget cuts proposed: £258,000 in staffing. £450,000 from public transport by reducing the amount the council pays in bus route subsidies. Lesser-used routes will be assessed to make sure they are viable. £1.9 million by disposing of some of the council’s land and buildings – either selling them or developing them. £320,000 from libraries. The multi-year programme to transfer 20 libraries to voluntary groups, together with regularly reviewing staffing levels and opening hours, will continue, as well as the review of the mobile library service. The council has also been given several more stern warnings from Peter Handford, its head of finance. He said: “There is immense pressure on all demand-led services, in particular those around services to children.” Mr Handford says the authority must make budget cuts of £65 million by the end of the 2024 financial year – of which £52 million has been earmarked. He says a failure to meet budget cut targets could “lead to issues around financial sustainability that would require urgent, radical savings rather than the planned process.”